Monthly Archives: December 2011

Shabbat Recipe Roundup: Bye-bye 2011

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It’s the last Shabbat of 2011, so better make it special!

Looking to start your Shabbat with a festive drink? This Cork County Bubbles Cocktail recipe is sure to satisfy the wine lovers, and the scotch lovers, since it uses champagne (or sparkling wine) along with whiskey!

It seems every family has their own recipe for deviled eggs, but here is a great take I’ve never seen before – Chickpea Deviled Eggs! Or if you’re serving a dairy meal, try this unique version from Smitten Kitchen for Caesar Salad Deviled Eggs.

I think you are going to love this recipe for Apple Cider Glazed Pot Roast that I got from a friend. Not only is this recipe delicious, but its also super easy since its made in a crock pot – perfect for this time of year when Shabbat starts so early.

Lately, I cannot get enough cauliflower! My grandmother even bought me a cauliflower, and wrapped it, as a gift for Hanukkah. So besides roasting, what else to do? How about this Crispy Cauliflower with Olives, Capers and Parsley.

My dad actually made this Pumpkin Cranberry Bread recently, and it was surprisingly delicious. Usually when my dad tries to bake, it tastes like it’s been sitting in my grandmother’s freezer for 6 months. So bottom line – its a fool-proof recipe and perfect for this time of year.  If you want to make this pareve, you can replace the butter with margarine. I would also recommend using fresh cranberries.

Looking for a more chocolate-y dessert this week? Try this recipe for Chocolate Apple Sauce Cake from The Jew and the Carrot.

Happy cooking, Shabbat Shalom and Happy (secular) New Year!

 

 

Posted on December 29, 2011

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Rainbow Cookies a la Hanukkah


I have a confession to make. I’m not proud of it but I feel compelled to share. You know how most Jewish gatherings serve the ubiquitous Assorted Cookie Platter? You know the ones I mean… Well, I confess: I hoard the multi-colored Rainbow Cookies.

I don’t intend to hoard them – in fact, I always start with just one. But I inevitably end up going back for seconds and thirds. I know… they’re called assorted cookies because you’re supposed to try several types.  I just can’t help myself! I love their moist and rich almond interior, lightened by a hint of acidic apricot and then intensified by a touch of bitter chocolate. Add the fun colors and you have the perfect cookie.

When planning this year’s Hanukkah gathering, I decided the festivities wouldn’t be complete without these cookies.  With just a tiny adjustment to my regular recipe, they became Rainbow Cookies á la Hanukkah. Making them is a multi-step process but, fear not, they are easy steps. Here’s the recipe:

About Joy Prevor: A food aficionado and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Joy Dawn Prevor has served as a major gifts fundraiser and senior executive in the Jewish nonprofit sector for over 17 years.

Rainbow cookies

Posted on December 27, 2011

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

In the (Jewish) Night Kitchen

This week on our book blog Members of the Scribe, we’re hosting guest-blogger Stanley Ginsburg, author of Inside the Jewish Bakery. In his first post today, he’s asking a question that’s astounded and confounded us for years — what exactly does calling something a “Jewish bakery” mean?

I have to confess, I was stunned: no one had ever asked me that question, nor, indeed, had I ever asked it of myself. In my world, everyoneknows what a Jewish bakery is – a bakery that sells Jewish baked goods.

But here’s where it gets complicated. What exactly are “Jewish baked goods?” The ones that come first to mind – bagels, rugelach, onion rolls, challah – appear to be no-brainers, but in fact all can be traced back through their 
Yiddish forebears to the gentile Central and Eastern European societies in which the Jews found themselves living at various times.

MORE >

And while you’ve got Jewish bakeries on the brain (stomach), here are a few of our favorite recipes:

* Bagels
* Second-time Around Challah
* Jelly-filled Hanukkah cupcakes

Happy Hanukkah! Happy eating!

Posted on December 27, 2011

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Top Jewish Food Trends of 2011

Another (secular) year is almost up, and it’s been a pretty good year for Jewish and kosher cuisine. We’ve had a kosher pastry chef appear on a national TV Food competition, kosher food trucks gain followings across the country, and a gastronomic renaissance for traditional, Eastern European Jewish fare.

Read on to see some of the best Jewish and Kosher food trends of 2011, and make sure to send us any we missed.

Upscale Deli and Haute Jewish Cuisine

It was truly the year for re-invented Jewish deli, and traditional Jewish-American fare. Montreal-style deli and bagels made their way to Brooklyn with the opening of the Mile End Delicatessen. A “speciality bagelry” also appeared as Vic’s Bagel Bar and new restaurants such as Kutschers Tribeca all brought back the Jew food in a major way.

My own take: as Americans focus on artisanal meats and charcuterie, as well as experience a general foodie re-focus towards comfort food, its no wonder that deli sandwiches, bagels and matzah balls are being given a makeover (and popularity boost). And I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Kosher Restaurant Trends: Asian Fusion

I don’t eat solely in kosher restaurants, so I turned to kosher dining expert and blogger Dani Klein to get the latest trends in kosher dining. Dani, who is the founder of YeahThatsKosher, shares that restaurants are going Asian in the U.S. from LA to Miami to New York:

“Numerous restaurants have been opening and focusing solely on the various flavors from the East, which include a full sushi menu (a staple in nearly all kosher restaurants today), as well as other Japanese cuisine, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Malaysian, and others. Relatively new kosher Asian Fusion restaurants including Prime KO & Sushein in NYC; Estihana in Teaneck, NJ; Lotus in Surfside (Miami), FL; Saba Sushi in Los Angeles, as well as scores in Brooklyn and Israel, have opened up in the past year, or so. They’re riding the wave of sushi’s popularity and meshing it with other cuisine and meat dishes from the region.

Dessert: Bye-bye Cupcakes, Welcome Cake Pops and Macarons

Move over cupcakes, there’s a new dessert in town: cake pops and whoopie pies says DC blogger, foodie and photographer Emily P. Goodstein, of Wild and Crazy Pearl. Want to try out the latest trend? Blogger Overtime Cook has some great tips.

Other dessert trends? Chef Paula Shoyer, kosher dessert expert, cookbook author and Sweet Genius contestant shares that french macarons are becoming more popular even with kosher bakeries and caterers (good news for anyone hosting an affair in the near future).

Chef Paula also shared that special diet baking, particularly gluten free options, “is getting more attention as kosher companies see the large market for gluten free desserts….the more creative kosher restaurant chefs are trying to bake with more natural ingredients and stay away from the more processed products.” Well, who doesn’t love that – natural is back!

She also shared her kosher dessert predictions for the coming year:

“Coming up: Aerated chocolate bars and candies; hand pies and retro desserts in flavors such as malt and butterscotch; more whole grain desserts; whoopie pies; and more and more macarons!”

Food Trucks Go Kosher

Unless you’ve been under a rock, it would be hard not to notice the food truck craze that has taken over the nation. Personally, I have made it a mission to try as many NYC food trucks as possible, and the size of my tuchus is a testament to my successful foodie mission over the last two years.

Kosher food trucks have been seen gracing the streets of NYC and LA for at least two years, but perhaps the most exciting food truck that came onto the scene was the Sixth and Rye Truck.  A popular DC food truck and project of the innovative Sixth and I Synagogue, and Top Chef contestant Chef Spike Mendelsohn, the truck is now closed for the winter, but we remain hopeful this is not the end for “DC’s First Kosher Deli on Wheels.”

Other kosher food trucks include Takosher, “The Chosen Taco” in LA and Quick Stop Kosher in NYC.

Jewish goes treyf

The trend of Jewish-treyf fusion is perhaps my favorite trend of the year, and indeed, the most controversial. In Williamsburg, Brooklyn there is literally a restaurant called Treif, featuring a pork and seafood focused menu.

Then there is Top Chef Ilan Hall’s creation of a bacon wrapped matzo ball. And I have also heard reports here in NYC of bagel shops featuring bacon cream cheese.

I know, I know – some of you are deeply offended by the fusion of traditional Jewish food, and blatantly non-kosher products. But I always find it interesting when cultures merge, collide and spark creativity. Is a matzo ball wrapped in bacon still a Jewish food? And what is a Jewish food anyways?

Well, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2012 – what do you think is on the culinary horizon for Jewish and kosher food?

Posted on December 26, 2011

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Shabbat Recipe Roundup: Chinese “Takeout”

Christmas is here, and Chinese restaurants are preparing for the Jews to take over. This week I’ve put together some Asian inspired dishes to grace your Shabbat table, and relieve the Chinese takeout industry.

To start, why not try this Jewish Turkey-Wonton Soup, which actually uses traditional kreplach as the wontons! It looks amazing.

You could also start with these Crisp Orange-Chicken Spring Rolls from Gourmet Kosher Cooking.

My husband and I love this recipe for Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings and we make them all the time! Even my brother who is a bit of a picky eater likes the recipe. This would go great with some perfectly cooked white or brown rice, and perhaps a slaw such as this Asian Slaw with Ginger-Dressing.

If you want to serve a more basic salad, why not dress it with this Carrot Ginger Dressing from The Kosher Foodies.

For dessert? Keep it simple and put out some sliced pineapple or orange wedges. Ah, brings back fond Chinese restaurant memories.

Shabbat Shalom, Happy Cooking, and Happy Holidays!

http://thekosherfoodies.com/

Posted on December 21, 2011

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Unique Sufganiyot

Last week at work (well my other work), I had my first sufganiya, or traditional Hanukkah jelly doughnut, of the season. Each Hanukkah I usually focus my culinary attention on the latke. But this year I’ve been thinking on what kinds of unique sufganiyot flavors are out there, and what kinds of possibilities lie on the horizon.

For example, instead of just the jelly, what about a PB&J flavor? Or peaches n cream, with peach compote and whipped cream in the middle…

Instead of just musing on the possibilities, I put together a few unique recipes for a less “traditional” jelly doughnut experience:

The Kosher Gastronome has a recipe for Sufganiyot with Dulce de Leche Filling. If it was up to me, I would add some thick sea salt to that dulce de leche to make for a sweet n salty sufganiyot tasting. And as it so happens, I came across this recipe for Apple Cider Sufganiyot with Salted Caramel.

Israeli chain Roladin has been creating flavors such as halva filled sufganiyot and white ganache filled sufganiyot.

And how about these Chai Sufganiyot with Orange Pumpkin Buttercream.

The New York Times has a whole Hanukkah Recipe collection, including this recipe for Orange-Scented Sufganiyot.

All this sounds too complicated, or schmancy? Epicurious has a step-by-step Doughnut Demo to go over the frying basics in order to create a perfect, basic Hanukkah doughnut.

Please send us links or pics of the most unique sufganiyot you’ve made, or seen!

Posted on December 18, 2011

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Jelly Doughnut Ice Cream

Prep:
2-3 hours

Cook:
6 hours


Let me be clear about one thing before I go any further. I almost feel like this is confessional: I have never fried anything, and so I had absolutely no idea what to expect. This is coming from a girl who, though she loves herself a good dessert, was never, ever allowed to eat anything fried. In fact, the only way we were ever able to convince my mom to let us eat a doughnut was to tell her that it was a cinnamon bun (nevermind that it was deep fried and glazed!). Talk about pulling a fast one on her. Scarfing down those “cinnamon buns” was a blast. It felt so good. So rebellious. So child-like.

Enter the sufganiya. Many of my ice cream recipes pay homage to my childhood, but this one, ah this golden, cinnamon sugar coated bundle of goodness, reminds me so much of Hanukkah that I get giddy like a little school girl just thinking about it. Maybe if I tap my heels together three times some presents will show up at my door! Wishful thinking.

jelly donut ice cream1Back to these sufganiyot. The Hebrew word for sufganiya derived from the word for sponge (sfog), is supposed to describe the texture of a sufganiya which is somewhat similar to a sponge. I like to tell myself that because the texture is like a sponge (which I think is airy, not fried and fatty!) a sufganiya is completely healthy. And when injected with raspberry preserves, even healthier!

This time of year, when all I do is eat sweets, I try to refrain from thinking about how unhealthy it is and instead think about the significance of these doughnuts. On Hanukkah we eat these golden delicious sufganiyot because they are fried in oil, which helps to remind us of one of the miracles of Hanukkah.
So, to toast that small miracle, let’s chow down on some delicious Sufganiyot Ice Cream. Enjoy!

Sufganiyot Ice Cream

Posted on December 15, 2011

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Healthy Spinach Latkes

Cook:
30 minutes

Yield:
20 latkes


Holidays in general are not very easy on the dieting sector, but when you think about it, nothing beats Hanukkah. Basically we have eight days in a row where its traditional to eat fried foods. And so we start the meal with fried carbs, cap it off with deep fried dough, and probably spend weeks dreading the scale.

Tradition is great, and I am all for it, but there is also a mitzvah to take care of yourself, and I think that eating healthy is way up there on the list of ways to take care of yourself. And while I am not suggesting we all boycott every form of fried food this Hanukkah, a great way to stay healthy and eat healthy is to follow one of my most important dieting tricks: combat delicious and tempting food with delicious, but healthy food.

The challenge, for me, as a perpetual dieter as well as a cook, is to come up with a recipe that is within the spirit of Hanukkah, but won’t cause a bad case of “scale fear.” I think, if I do say so myself, that I succeeded amazingly with these spinach latkes. It’s pretty sad the way spinach gets such a bad rap among vegetables. I think it’s delicious, and I let it shine in this recipe.

This recipe comes together in a frying pan, but don’t let that fool you. This latke recipe is super healthy…and yet totally delicious. Make sure to have enough on hand for the non-dieters. They might just love them as much as I do!

Miriam Pascal blogs at Tales of an Overtime Cook.

Healthy Spinach Latkes

Posted on December 13, 2011

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

How Super is Your Supermarket?

I love food shopping, probably even more than I enjoy clothes shopping. There’s something both exciting and relaxing about meticulously planning a menu, and then leisurely strolling down aisles to pick out each item.

I am pretty good about writing out a list before I head to shop, but I don’t coupon-cut like my mother did, nor do I spend too much time analyzing my supermarket habits or strategies.

But, after I watched a CNBC special insider look into supermarkets, “Supermarkets Inc: Inside a $500 Billion Dollar Industry,” that might change. The investigative piece explored, as you might guess, the supermarket industry in America, what motivates Americans’ food shopping habits and the strategies of supermarkets.

For example: why is milk all the way in the back? Because most people are going into the supermarket to buy milk, so if its at the back, they have to walk through the entire store, passing by more products that might tempt them to buy. (Stew Leonard’s unique shopping experience is based entirely on this premise.)

So what are the implications for Kosher food? Pomegranate market in Brooklyn, NY has already picked up on current food trends: providing prepared foods, quality fish and speciliaty items that are typically difficult to find with a hechsher at your average kosher market.

Will other “Kosher Whole Foods” markets start cropping up across the country? Are there others already around that I don’t know about? Let me know, and go watch the CNBC special – your food shopping may never be the same again.

Posted on December 12, 2011

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Shabbat Recipe Roundup

Another week, another round of recipe ideas for your Shabbat table.

Last month I had the most delicious Caesar Brussel Sprout Salad at Almond in Bridgehampton, New York. Ever since I’ve been looking for a similar recipe, but in the meantime, I came across this Food Network Brussel Sprout Salad with a light dressing, and dried fruit. If you’re making this with a meat meal, just leave out the manchego cheese.

This Citrus and Rosemary Roast Chicken recipe is pretty similar to my own go-to chicken recipe for Shabbat dinner. My favorite tip? Marinate the chicken on Thursday night in a plastic bag, and let sit overnight in the fridge. By the time you roast your Shabbat chicken, it will be infused with flavor, and super moist.

I love roasted potatoes, but sometimes you want something a little more special. This “Potatoes a la Bakery” has a wow factor, yet is super simple to prepare. Just replace the butter in the recipe with olive oil, or my favorite, duck fat (chicken fat would work great too).

My mother-in-law made this recipe for Roasted Fennel with Olives and Garlic recently and it was delicious!

For a sweet finish, try some rich, chewy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Couldn’t Be Pareve.

Posted on December 7, 2011

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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